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  • Location: London, Paris, Vienna, Siena, Russia

Friends and Traitors

Friends and Traitors

Why a Booktrail?

1958: The Grand Tour of Europe during the Cold War

  • ISBN: 978-1611856224
  • Genre: Crime, legal/political, Spy story

What you need to know before your trail

Chief Superintendent Frederick Troy of Scotland Yard, newly promoted after good service during Nikita Khrushchev’s visit to Britain, is not looking forward to a Continental trip with his older brother, Rod. Rod was too vain to celebrate being fifty so instead takes his entire family on ‘the Grand Tour’ for his fifty-first birthday: Paris, Siena, Florence, Vienna, Amsterdam. Restaurants, galleries and concert halls. But Frederick Troy never gets to Amsterdam.

After a concert in Vienna he is approached by an old friend whom he has not seen for years – Guy Burgess, a spy for the Soviets, who says something extraordinary: ‘I want to come home.’ Troy dumps the problem on MI5 who send an agent to debrief Burgess – but when the man is gunned down only yards from the embassy, the whole plan unravels with alarming speed and Troy finds himself a suspect.As he fights to prove his innocence, Troy discovers that Burgess is not the only ghost who has returned to haunt him…

Travel Guide

Grand Tour of Europe!

The journey: From London to St Malo, Rennes then across to Paris, Siena, Florence, Vienna, Amsterdam. Restaurants, galleries and concert halls. But Frederick Troy never gets to Amsterdam.

Mentions of passing through Berne and Prague…

The London of John Lawton

“The world had been rearranged. There might even have been a war on”

The bombers over the city:

“Occasionally, one or two bombers had strayed past Tower Hill, all but immune to anti-aircraft fire, to hit the city, Westminster and Mayfair. Now, a month into the Blitz, allLondon was their target .”

Anywhere that might provide bombproof shelter, from church crypts in the East End to the basements of the grander hotels up West. The deep level tube stations on the Northern, Bakerloo and Piccadilly lines might have been the logical choice, but London Transport still insisted on closing them after the last train – a state of affairs surely surviving on borrowed time?

Old Bond Street

Chapter five opens at a meeting at one of the ‘posh’ streets of London:

“Located in the heart of what could be termed “A Gentleman’s London,” a little to the left of Saville Row and Cork Street, a little to the north of theBurlington Arcade, a district with more than its share of gold cufflinks…”

Shepherd Alley

“A warren of alleys with a notorious reputation, just south of Curzon street- heading for Piccadilly”

The Ritz

The downstairs grill-room at the Ritz had become another world in the first year of war. …. the bar-grill that had become La Popote…a demotic – “The canteen” – rendered exotic in translation”

Now there are also sandbanks which make it look like a “Great War trench write large”

The Grand Tour of Europe

Paris, France

“Paris held more than enough to occupy the next generation. they shopped, they climbed the Eiffel Tower, they shopped, they drifted aimlessly around the Left bank, they shopped and paid lip service to the Louvre…then off to Pere Lachaise in search of OScar Wilde.”

Siena, Italy

Rod comes here on the way to his destination and they spend time seeing the sites of Palazzo Publico, the Duomo and more besides

They sit in the spot where the The Sybil did in 1921 and prophesied about the war, telling him to think of war as a cricket match:

Peace as a cricket match played in an English village over a long summer weekend. Sooner of later rain would stop play.”


A series of acqueducts in the city where certain scenes play out. A dark place for some dark deeds…

Vienna, Austria

Lots of curvy and narrow streets where someone follows Troy. One of the main streets is Rotenturmstraße  which extends from the Danube Canal to St Stephen’s

Cathedral….nice for a stroll when not being stalked in a novel!

Be sure to see the “brightly lit Karner Ring, one of the wide boulevards created when some emperor or another had decided Vienna could at last do without its city walls”

Trams and old buildings  abound here  but be sure to stop and to look at the war memorials….

Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

This was a mega booktrail in more ways than one! Got a bit carried away on this one but there are trails and traps and places to explore, follow someone…and it was a treat in that sense!

I’d not read the other Troy books but after this one, I’m going to track them down. The London WWll settings, the dignity and resolve of the Brits, plus the sometimes improbable plots make this a unique and fun novel to get carried away with. There’s something very satisfying about getting involved with spy capers in war time London and then go on a trail, a chase across Europe. Some of what happens is a bit unbelievable at times and the timeline does jump around quite a bit so it pays to pay attention at the start!

I think I should have read the others to be fair as starting here has raised some questions but it’s left me with enough to want to go back and take a closer look.

Booktrail Boarding Pass: Friends and Traitors (Inspector Troy 8 )

Destination : London, Paris, Vienna, Siena, Russia  Author/Guide: John Lawton  Departure Time: 1958

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